Cyrus Shepard: Quality SEO for Long-Term Value Over Short-Term Gains

The Best Practices for SEO from Expert Cyrus Shepard

The rules of the SEO game seem to be always changing.

To understand how to rank higher, no matter the algorithm, we sat down with Cyrus Shepard. He has seen SEO evolve over nearly a decade and ran in-house SEO for the industry leader, Moz.

He shares with us his strategies to understand Google’s black-box algorithms, do more with existing backlinks, manage client expectations and more.

Guiding SEO Principles
SEO can be thought of as full of tricks and algorithms, but Cyrus’s main principles are straightforward:

Long-term value over short-term gain
Create quality content
“Think of your audience first, always,” says Cyrus. “Google is getting better and better at looking at audience signals and engagement signals”

Therefore, if you are writing consistently creating valuable, quality content, you will at least earn back a little bit of success in SEO. For whatever content you create, do the best that you can do.

“When we’re creating content, I like to create things that people can steal, and want to steal.” If people are stealing it, you are creating value and therefore will naturally earn backlinks and improve your ranking.

KEY INSIGHTS
The backbone of good SEO is value and quality.
Google is becoming a black box, so experimentation is the key to continually improving rankings.
Manage client SEO expectations by bringing them into the process.

CYRUS’ TAKEAWAYS
In any vertical, look at the competition. Look at the features of the top three results, then recreate them but better.
Use the Google Search console to find the keywords for your site. If they do not match your user experience, modify your site.
Take advantage of your existing backlinks by updating your content often and monitoring user engagement.



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